SINGAPORE - The 33rd edition of the Singapore Book Fair is moving to the heart of the Civic District, setting up shop this year in Capitol Singapore and Chijmes.
The annual fair, which is organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Chinese Media Group (CMG), will run from May 25 to 31 with the theme "Reading City".
It is the first time the fair will take place in these historic buildings. Previously, it was held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Says CMG managing editor, Ms Loh Woon Yen: "We want to bring the fair closer to Singaporeans in these venues, which are both strategic and culturally and historically rich. Urbanites can stumble upon them and pick up a book or join an event."
This year's fair will be built out of cardboard. Local company Paper Carpenter will create not just booths but also furniture such as chairs out of hardy, compressed cardboard. The materials can be recycled after the event and are biodegradable.
The fair will feature more than 30 publishers with a selection of English and Chinese books inside Capitol Theatre, while talks, book sharings and performances will be held at the main stage in the plaza outside.
On lower levels of the mall will be a Kids Zone for children's books, as well as lifestyle workshops such as leatherwork or tea appreciation.
VIEW IT/ SINGAPORE BOOK FAIR 2018
WHERE: Capitol Singapore, 13 Stamford Road, and Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street
WHEN: May 25 to 31, 11am to 10pm daily (closes at 8pm on May 31)
Visitors can find the works of local creative designers over at Chijmes, which will also be screening movies related to literary works and hosting performances by local singers in the evenings.
In line with the fair's new locales, local writers Yap Seow Choong, Lee Kok Leong and Lim Jen Erh will take visitors for the first time on literary and heritage trails around the Civic District. Home-grown muralist Yip Yew Chong will also lead a trail to look at his murals.
CMG visual executive artist Wilson Lee has created a comic strip, Journey Without Maps, for the book fair, about a young man's adventures as he flips through a long-forgotten story book.
SPH's custom content solutions arm Focus Publishing will launch 11 new books by CMG's newsrooms and radio stations, on topics ranging from wealth management to China politics.
There will also be sharing sessions with authors such as Chinese novelist Ge Fei and translator Lin Shaohua.
Straits Times Press will also be organising sharing and signing sessions for several new titles, including From Kid To King, news editor Marc Lim's picture book on Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling, Invest editor Lorna Tan's finance guide Retire Smart and Stephanie Suga Chen's light novel Travails Of A Trailing Spouse.
The fair has in the past two years attracted between 170,000 and 180,000 visitors annually. Ms Loh hopes this year's visitorship will match this.
Sponsor Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple will be supporting the event with $60,000 worth of book vouchers to more than 1,000 children from low-income families. Each child will receive book vouchers worth $50 to purchase books and educational materials.